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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 9, 2005

It's all 'Sweet' now that Sisters In Sound are back

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Dan Nishiyama pours a drink at Sweet. Sisters in Sound launched their monthly parties at Kai in June for patrons 21 and older.

Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser



Where: Okonomi Cuisine Kai, 1427 Makaloa St., 944-1555.

When: Tonight and the second Friday of each month, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cover: $5.

Age of crowd: 20s-30s.

Ages 18 to 20 OK? No, 21 and older only.

What to wear: Casual or dressy is fine. But we don't imagine anyone at the door would mind if you exercised some clever fashion individuality. We saw feather boas, a Sailor Moon tee, and a dude with a VW medallion.

The soundtrack: House, hip-hop, soul, funk, breakbeat and whatever tracks the deeply music-schooled Sisters Chia, Toki, Marloca and Ms. Angel toss in to surprise.

Spinning tonight: DJ K-ing, DJ Toki and Ms. Angel.

My film suggestion for the wall: "The Forbidden Dance is Lambada" or "Lambada" (both 1990). Passion! Intrigue! Both better with the dialogue turned off!

Bathroom attendant holding paper towels hostage: No.


DJ K-ing, a Sisters In Sound guest, spins some vinyl at Sweet, the Sisters' monthly party at Kai. Parties are on the second Friday of each month, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.


While many recent patrons at Kai were mellow early on, content in talking with friends, others hit the smallish dance floor once DJ K-ing took over with a breakbeat set.


It's comforting to have Sisters In Sound doing a monthly party again.

There are those of us who remember spring 2002, when the Sisters' ISIS party introduced the then sort-of-revolutionary idea of a monthly after-hours lounge celebrating the talents of female turntablists, musicians, artists and poets in clubland Honolulu.

They set the scene at Auntie Pasto's Kapahulu. And for a year and a half, the all-X chromosome DJ collective hosted a funky blend of cool environs (votives, flowers, tapestries, multicolored Chinese lanterns, etc.) and eclectic music and extras that drew scads of girls as well as boys.

The Sisters moved to their more music-focused, less-accessorized Escape lounge at Indigo Eurasian Cuisine in 2003. One-off parties such as TAG and Vertigo followed in 2004 and 2005. All the while you'd find the Sisters spinning individually around town at other parties as well.

Launched in June at intimate, mod-decorated okonomi restaurant Kai, the collective's party, called Sweet, is a low-profile return to a regular after-hours presence. More Escape than ISIS. More spare of female touches than all-girl thematic. And more music focused than ... well, the Sisters were always music focused.

To wit, Sister DJ Marloca was ending a cozy set of deep-from-the-milk-crate old-school spins with Skyy's "Call Me" and Midnight Star's "Operator" when we stopped by 'round midnight. A gender-balanced crowd of mostly twentysomethings had all of Kai's tables snatched up. But one could still navigate the room easily and find a spot to wallflower.

DJ K-ing took over the tables with a breakbeat set that immediately inspired a guy in what looked like vintage polo to seriously dance his mess around. Fashion individualistic and coolly mellow, the crowd early on was mostly content to talk it out, hug it out or (in fewer numbers) hit the smallish dance floor.

With Kai already heavy on sleek and cool decor (kitschy mod lighting, wood and metal accents, assorted knicknacks and high black ceilings), the Sisters opted for simple personalization with Sweet. Scented votives, strung lighting and fabrics were placed strategically. A wall-projected film cast a warm, silent glow over the room.

"Is that 'Beat Street?' " a guy at the bar asked me, as we waited for our drinks and gazed skyward at the flick.

Subways. B-boys. Leg-warmers circa 1984. Rae Dawn Chong in a starring role. It certainly looked like "Beat Street."

Marloca (aka Marlo Munoz) said Sweet was a work in progress for Sisters In Sound.

"We conceived this party as a 'learning lab,' or an experiment for us," said Marloca. "We wanted it to be intimate, underground and a place where we wouldn't have a lot of guests play all the time.

"We wanted to experiment with themes and our own styles and see what we could pull off. We have only just begun."

If the past is any indication, believe that.

Reach Derek Paiva at dpaiva@honoluluadvertiser.com.